8 Reasons Lawmen: Bass Reeves Is Better Not Being A Yellowstone Spinoff

, the latest Paramount+ series from creator Taylor Sheridan, is better off not being a part of the celebrated universe. With brand new episodes of season 5 set to premiere in 2024, the acclaimed modern Western original series will finally come to an end after six additional episodes. There have been multiple creative developments and changes to the future of the franchise after star actor Kevin Costner surprisingly announced that he would not be returning to the series after season 5, resulting in Sheridan's decision to end the series.

Following another shocking development that , the fate of the

franchise has never been more uncertain. Throughout its first five seasons, the celebrated series has been praised for Costner's irreplaceable depiction of John Dutton as the head of the Dutton family but now will not be given the chance to send Dutton off with a proper farewell. Fortunately, this news will not affect the trajectory of Lawmen: Bass Reeves, which just released its two-part series premiere on Paramount+ and will air both episodes on Sunday, November 12, 2023, at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

8 Lawmen: Bass Reeves Is A David Oyelowo Passion Project

As much weight as Taylor Sheridan's name carries in terms of modern Western television series, David Oyelowo was arguably more passionate about bringing the true story of the legendary lawman Bass Reeves to light.

Oyelowo, who has also appeared in the popular Apple sci-fi series and portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King in the 2014 Oscar-nominated , had reportedly been trying to portray Reeves' character onscreen for eight years before Paramount finally helped make his passion project a reality. Sheridan reportedly was inspired by Oyelowo's determination to tell Bass Reeves' story, making him the best choice to spearhead the creative direction of the series (via ).

7 Lawmen: Bass Reeves Is Rooted In Historical Accuracy

A crucial part in bringing the true story of Bass Reeves to light is honoring the historical accounts of the celebrated lawman, who was famous for making more than 3,000 arrests during his 30+ year career without getting wounded once.

This included intense standoffs and hostile situations with dangerous outlaws that the real-life Bass Reeves was able to walk away from scot-free. It's the rare type of legend that seems nearly too good to be true or something that was a product of fiction. In this light, the historical accuracy of Lawmen: Bass Reeves is an essential part of making a modern series that is equally entertaining as it is respectful.

6 Bass Reeves Deserves To Be The Only Star Of The Series

In this same vein, the real-life Bass Reeves was remarkable enough of a lawman and a person that he should be the one and only star of the series that is named after him.

Including the lore of the entire Dutton family within would wrongfully pull the focus away from the iconic figure and essentially do a disservice to his legacy. depicts the true story of how Bass was forced to fight in the Civil War with the Confederate Army and escaped slavery by beating his owner Colonel Geroge R. Reeves and living in Indigenous Territory. This is only one aspect of Bass Reeves' fascinating story, which is why he deserves to be the central figure at all times.

5 Bass Reeves' Legend Doesn't Need To Be Fictionalized

The entire legend of Bass Reeves has so many interesting angles and anecdotes that it would be senseless to fictionalize his true story by forcing it under the Dutton family umbrella. Bass Reeves lawfully pursued his son Bennie who was wanted for killing his wife. Despite the natural elements of drama in the unbelievable scenario, is set to chronicle just a fragment of Reeves' life from 1862 to 1877. Bennie's arrest and sentencing didn't occur until 1903, so this particular tale will likely not be depicted in the new series. However, it acts as another example of how much there is to pull from Bass Reeves' life and why

doesn't need to rely on fictional storytelling.

4 McConaughey's Yellowstone Spinoff Is More Than Enough

Matthew McConaughey is still expected to pick up the reins of the franchise following Costner's abrupt exit, meaning that fans of will still have something exciting to look forward to with the future of the beloved series. The two prequel series and were also successful in portraying the origins of the Dutton family dynasty, giving the perspective of the Old West origins of the fictional family.

McConaughey's eventual spinoff series will likely follow a similar path of being entirely fictionalized like the other installments. There were no loose ends in or that Bass Reeves' legend could have satisfied under the umbrella.

3 Lawmen Is Expected To Be A Standalone Anthology Series

After the association to was later unconfirmed, is expected to continue as a standalone anthology series that will portray several real-life American lawmen throughout history. If had been created as a part of the

universe, it would have made it complicated and potentially impossible for the series to continue in this way. Some other historical figures that could be chronicled in future seasons include Pat Garrett, Wyatt Earp, and Wild Bill Hicock.

2 The Original "1883" Title Would Have Limited Bass Reeves Story

The original title of when it was announced was , which would have cemented it within the universe. It's possible that the creators of were thinking of using the allure of the

and name to attract viewers to a show about Bass Reeves that might have still had nothing to do with the Dutton family. Alternatively, a fictionalized caricature of Bass Reeves would have had to somehow fit into the original story of which had already been told. Regardless, an eight-episode series about one year of Bass Reeves' decade-spanning career sounds limiting from the premise alone.

1 A Bass Reeves-Dutton Family Crossover Would Retcon 1883's Timeline

In order for an prequel spinoff series to actually work, either the historical accuracy of Bass Reeves' legend would have had to have been manipulated or the original story told in

would have to be retconned entirely. Bass Reeves lived and worked mostly in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and eventually Texas but did not arrive in Texas until 1893. The Dutton family in 1883 traversed many areas of the United States in the series starting in Fort Worth Texas and eventually traveling to Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, none of which Bass ever visited.

There is a slight window of potential authentic overlap for a fictionalized version of Bass Reeves to encounter the Duttons as they travel through Doan's Crossing, Indigenous Territory, in episode 6 "Boring the Devil". Still, it would have been a creative stretch and not substantial enough of a foundation to build an entire series like the original upon. This is the primary reason why is much better off being entirely separate from the ever-changing universe altogether.

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